World reacts cautiously to Ahmadinejad's re-election
A world wary of Iran's nuclear program reacted cautiously Saturday to hardline leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hotly disputed re-election. Some expressed hope that the Islamic republic's president will soften his defiance and warm to recent U.S. overtures.Skip to next paragraph
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For the volatile Middle East and the West alike, the stakes were high.
Ahmadinejad's announced landslide victory over his reformist opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, in a tumultuous election marred by allegations of widespread fraud, "will increase American pressure" to engage Iran diplomatically, said Eyal Zisser, an analyst with the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center.
Alluding to opposition allegations that the outcome was rigged, and clashes that erupted across Iran after Ahmadinejad's government declared him the victor, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she hoped the outcome reflects the "genuine will and desire" of Iranian voters.
Hadi Ghaemi, spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, denounced the outcome as "a Tehran Tiananmen" -- a reference to China's brutal 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists -- and urged the international community not to recognize the result.
As Mousavi supporters clashed with police in Tehran on Saturday to protest the election result, a peaceful demonstration against it was held by about 200 Iranians outside the Iranian Embassy in London.
President Barack Obama has offered dialogue with Iran after a nearly 30-year diplomatic freeze between the two nations. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and geared solely toward generating electricity; U.S. officials contend it's trying to enrich uranium to weapons grade.